Tag Archives: Detroit

Cass Tech Demo

A Worthy Skyline. The view of Cass Tech and the Train Station before demo.

So do you know what you want to do for your life?

What if you are living out what god called you to do.

I hate to wait for things. It’s easy to think of waiting as doing nothing.

From the old testament David has really close feelings to God and really far away from God.

Slow down. Your week is gaining value even wwhen you are not doing anything. Stop trying to think you have a say or an ablilty to push in your life.

Man looks at the outside god looks at the heart.

Make the most of your season of waiting.

In David’s waiting he made the most of ye time instead of just dreaming about the future.

He wrote poetry and stringed instruments.

Psalm 27:14 wait for the lord patiently and he will strengthen your heart. Trusting god in the face of resistance. Private preparation equals public power through the holy spirit. Stripping away our selves and allowing the spirit to lead. Lead by spirit not by self.

We are called to encourage eachother.

While we wait, Take courage.

Real waiting isn’t standing around.

Gods timing is perfect.

While we walk in your way of truth we wait for you. It’s preparation. We are walking with as we wait for you.

Risking, tried stuff, growing and preparing. That is what waiting is.

Actively wait for god. He is preparing your heart. Getting ready for the moment.

This forty days to go hard after God and what we are really doing is waiting on God. nothing is going to happen if god doesn’t do it.

If god isn’t in it it will fail.

When he chooses to pour out his power we will be there.

It is only god who does something powerful in my life through this city in my heart.

If you think you’re here for Jesus to make much of you, youre greatly confused. You are here to make much of Jesus.

It’s not a standard practice for a pot of clay to ask it’s potter, “Give me Vision”. I place a constant pressure on myself to create because it’s what I love, sometimes how I love and it’s how I think. Its ingrained in me to tell stories visually. I create films in a way that is growing with the vision he is giving me, which isn’t always clear and that makes me go crazy sometimes.  I’m learning that my perspective varies from my to eternal in an instant when I am reminded of the promises and makings held in certain faith.

I am in an incredible season of testing. The test centers around letting go of my life list of things I would change.  The list isn’t even worth going into but I wanted to explain how today was a blessing in reminding me where to place my hope and how the placement of my hope determines my attitude in my situation. I really want to be joyful no matter what.

No call is clearer that what he reminded me of today, “God crafts amazingness from my brokenness. He actually uses my brokenness to make amazing things. He makes all things work together for my good.”

I expect challenges in my life. I also expect the success from God and the variety of ways that success will come in. I am not only willing to step into this season knowing it will produce endurance and fruit but am encouraged and empowered as I keep stepping through this season as I see my flesh wage war.  I believe it is a good thing to see the battle between flesh and spirit.

It is impossible to be physically or emotionally ready or prepared for a season like this but, leaning one foot forward, equipped I become through the ever present inheritance found in Jesus’ promises. But that step isn’t so clear sometimes. I try so hard to interpret where God wants me to go next. Each time the lengths of my worry begot illogical thinking. And for some reason I am surprised.

“You will lack nothing” he reminded his disciples and me. “When I sent you out without food, clothing or money, did you lack anything?” The disciples and I answer, “No.”  I was sent to my wife. I lack nothing. I was sent to Detroit. I lack nothing. The list continues.

Yet, even with this knowledge, sometimes I desire to see around each infliction. It shakes me and I want a quick self made way out. I look for motto, “I feel like I should be happy all the time”. Fakeness sucks.

Today I had four moments where I felt like I lacked. Each moment was quickly rendered false; one by the truth of his word, one by the power of testimony from my amazing wife who told me about what she learned in church, one by wisdom from my awesome brother in London, one by prayer backed by remembering what he has already spoken.

David sang entire songs about his despair and had verses reminding his soul to place it’s hope in the Lord. Psalm 42, 43. Read it.

vs 3. Tears are saying, “where is your God? Tears have been my food day and night.” Man that dude is sad. At that time he was asking for a savior. The difference with us, is that we have one. All justification, peace, love, identity and wholeness is found in him.

Psalm 42, 43 personalized/interpreted by my words and the words of Pastor Cliff at Woodside Detroit:

I am asking for water that gives life and you wash over me with water so powerful that it brings death by a drowning so significant the calendar shifted when it happened.  In his steadfast love, I live like I need less death and more love.  I live crying out, “Please show me your love”.  Instantly overwhelmed by circumstance my rock seems to have forgotten me. Emotional pain. Why is my soul forgetting the truth i can recite at any given moment. Fight for me God! I’m trying to live for you and create for you and love for you and live for you. I am trying so hard to make my identity in the sent Savior you gave me. Save me!

His waters quiet and whisper, “I have”.

Where is He!

HE is Here. God has Him here.

The past year and half has brought a new understanding to me: God loves us enough to allow us to go through things to show us what our hope is in. My hope was in soooooo many things that weren’t Him. His grace has revealed that and now has broken those chains.

After his awesome sermon, which pissed a ton of people off but made Jesus stand while at the right hand of his Father, Stephen was taken to be killed. Looking up, through his oppressors throwing stones at his head, past his critics, with un approval all around him, with grace and thanksgiving and peace, he declared, in the most un oportune time possible, “Forgive them God, they don’t know what they are doing.”

Thats legit. What pain do I have? Why down oh my soul? God so good.

We will not be free of pain and suffering in this life time but we are free from the slavery to pain and suffering with the knowledge that all pain and suffering will be abolished at the coming of Jesus.

Thus, after reading the word today, praying, listening to the faithfulness of my wife’s love for God, listening to wise men talk about Jesus in my community, I can say this, “The vision I have is for now and in this now, Christ is working” and with patience given to me I will press on and wait for him to pull me out of this test I am in with Him by my side.

May I encourage you to place all your hope and justification not in what you can do but in the already finished work of Jesus Christ. The rescue Jesus offers will promote a performance in your life unmatched by what is possible in all possible human achievement.

Now, at the end of this day I can see that everything that is fighting against my soul is illuminated by the Spirit who reveals that I am exactly where I am supposed to be. Not only where I am supposed to be, but that my life isn’t about me, but is about serving others bc that is how Jesus lived.

Nothing, no critique, no affirmation , no anger, no words, no aggression, no film, not even the sweetest frame has any saving or destroying power.

The vision will come.

And in other news, Be honest and patient with your clients.

Below are photos of children and orphans in Ukraine who have been left by the government to raise. They make up the majority of the crime and human trafficking victims. It’s important to remember such peoples while the rest of the world watches the Eurocup down the street.

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During Stephen McGee Films shoot

During our interview with Naomi Long for Kresge Arts in Detroit I used the same camera I was shooting the interview with to snap a quick portrait. I toggled the setting on the back of the 5d Mark II to my black and white mode and took this shot. I love Naomi Long's poetry and love for other poets.

“This just in!!!! Detroit photographer and cinematographer Stephen McGee unveils new website showcasing his ten years of reportage photography and short films and it encourages people to document the world around them to help others and educate “.

Well, Thats what I hope the headlines will say but for now I just wanted to share with the few people that read my blog that my new site is being launched today. I am still making modifications and adding Portfolios with old work.

You can visit the site here…

I will also start posting my creative process as I finish my 96th film for Kresge Arts in Detroit.

All while learning more about my faith and where I belong in this visual world. Would love to know what you think!

Wow, what a day, I woke up and met james willer at the elevator building. I was so excited to meet up with him. Having watched the world cup the night before right after losing our last game of the season, I went to bed at 4. I also finished my first draft of the painter video. I was way tired when I treid to wake up at 930. I got there and james and I talked for awhile. It was hard for me to imagine exactly what the space I was getting was going to be. I tried to put it all in my mind but ended up feeling more overwhelmed than encouraged. James was going to be 600 dollars which is a fair price, actually inexpensive price. I did leave very bummed though because the cafe buildout was alone going to be 20000-30000. that was more than I expected.

I can not explain how bummed i was after the meeting with james. i thought what I wanted to do was too big.

Tim came over and had some good stuff to say.

I don’t really know what I want to remember today.
Tim and I went to lunch and he paid. which was nice.

Before we went in to eat Tim said, Lets pray. My focus had gotten away from knowing Christ. Tim led me back.

then i came home and fell asleep. I was so tired.

I woke up to jerry calling me to go to the imagination station because there were some volunteers. I edited my short film about the empty school that Alex, Chris and I explored. I arrived at the is and met the most handsome irish family who flew into the city to work specifically at the is.

i interviewed them for 15 minutes and then met up with tyler at avalon. we drank coffee and talked and then went off to see the imag station. there i met studio klinic 7 photog and she was excited for my space.

we chatted for awhile. jerry left. marry left. and then tyler and i went off to home when sarah dandar texted me telling me there was a phone droid that was going to be given out. tyler and i positioned ourselves by the river front. we found the tweets and waited four minutes.

finally verizon sent out a location and it was at slows. we sped, me being the best driver i know, got there in 5 minutes. there were a few people snooping around for the phone and I saw a camera man outside the slows corner. he had a red shirt.

we walked around and around and finally i went inside slows and asked the man behind the counter. he said check the patio. there were a few couples out there in the patio. I went out and within a minute found the phone. well actually it was a piece of paper with a 17 on it. a few cameras came out and i knew i had won. it was crazy.

I talked with phil cooley who was sitting in the corner about my space and told him that I had four photographers interested. It was cool.

the best part after all the interviews and such was a guy named chris. he came down from a few miles away, after reading that I had found the phone, he couldn’t even have won it. he just came down.

tyler and I stayed around and slows to eat when chris came in and started talking to the verizon team that had stayed around to eat. I told him to pull up a chair.

Chris was chatting about he started a blog about the droid and wanted to see the scene. he told us more about that. I asked him to pause for a second and told him we were going to pray for our meal. he said sure, and prayed with us. that opened the coversation about christ. At the end of my day. About Christ. At the end of all the ups and downs and feelings of defeats and worldly successes my conversation was about Christ. And it met Chris right where he was. He didn’t really know why he was coming down for a competition he knew was already over. I told him many things that encouraged him and Tyler listened. I knew the Spirit was working in this moment. I am not only confident in that, but I believe the explanation is more than a simple “the spirit was working through me”. What limitation and self forwardness. Although it is true but that is a single side. We often find a single side of God’s work and claim it as the fullness. Tyler is the physical reason I was there. We were hanging out at the end of a long day. And the conversation was about Christ.

Verizon, change to it? I might need some incentives besides a free phone.